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Chinese Airlines Expand Transpacific Bellyhold Capacity

Chinese Airlines Expand Transpacific Bellyhold Capacity

A number of Chinese airlines are set to increase bellyhold capacity on flights to the US following approval from the US Department of Transportation.

Starting in April, China-based carriers will increase weekly flights between the US and China from 35 to 50, aiming to normalize operations ahead of the summer 2024 traffic season.

Air China, China Southern, China Eastern, Xiamen Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Sichuan Airlines will collectively operate these additional flights. However, this remains below pre-pandemic levels of over 150 round-trip flights. The move comes as airfreight rates rise from China to the US.

Chinese carriers anticipate that increased capacity will alleviate some rate pressures on this trade lane, mainly driven by growing demand for e-commerce shipments. In contrast however, US carriers are delaying the resumption of flights to China due to ongoing depressed demand, highlighting disparities in air travel recovery between the two countries.

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